Designer’s Challenge: Beaded Peacock Socks (Part 2)

posted in: Designer's Challenge, Knit | 0

After my first excitement over the March Designer’s Challenge matching up with something I have been thinking about (see Part 1) for a while, I realized that I’ve never knit a toe-up sock before! That sure gave the word “Challenge” in “Designer’s Challenge” it’s fullest meaning for me. 🙂

Toe-up Cast-on

Hm, to get out of the starting block I needed to do some research and try out different toe-up cast-ons. Oh, my, there are so many different ways of doing this! There are

  • Judy’s Magic Cast On,
  • Turkish Cast On,
  • Figure 8 Cast On,
  • Provisional Cast On,
  • Backwards Loop Cast On
  • Short-row Cast On

just to name a few!

KnitPicks has a great series of tutorials for most of these toe-up cast-ons. There are articles on and then there is always the quick search on YouTube

That was a very interesting exercise and I’ve added a couple of new techniques to my knitter’s tool box. Have to love that! 🙂

Decision: I will use the Figure 8 cast-on for this sock.


Then came multiple rounds of swatching during which I realized that the peacock pattern I had in mind could not be reversed for a toe-up knitting direction. Sniff! My swatches looked great BUT not for toe-up…I’ll definitely will keep them around for other peacock designs, though. No loss there! 🙂

After a few more days letting my brain stew over the problem I’ve finally come up with something that will work. Whew, what a relief!

Yarn Selection

Well, that was sort of easy for me because my sock yarn stash is rather limited (and I did not want to go out and buy new yarn) as I am not really a sock knitter. I was VERY lucky though to have one skein of a purplish sock yarn (5th Avenue Toe-rriffic Sock Solids by Herrschners) handy that could fit the notion of being regal since royalties often kept peacocks for their beautiful gardens…

…hm, it could use some sprucing up to be more peacocky (is that a word?)…

Beaded Peacock Socks - toe
Colorway: Violet (#0503)


That’s when it hit me that I could combine my need for some additional samples for my workshop “Knitting with Beads” that I will be teaching at the Estes Park Wool Market later this year (June 7-10) and I could add some beads!

Off to another round of swatching to hash out which direction I should take with the beads. Decisions had to be made for

  • finishes: opaque, matte, lined, metallic, transparent
  • size: 8/0 or 6/0
  • one color, multiple colors

Next entry in this series: Designer’s Challenge: Beaded Peacock Socks (Part 3)

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